July 2020

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Hong Kong visits Queensland – virtually

Potential business migrants in Hong Kong enjoyed a video, webinar, online booth and interactive chat promoting the benefits of a move to Queensland when TIQ participated in a cutting-edge virtual exhibition recently.

Potential business migrants in Hong Kong enjoyed a video, webinar, online booth and interactive chat promoting the benefits of a move to Queensland when TIQ participated in a cutting-edge virtual exhibition recently.

Organised by migration agent Ascent Step, the virtual exhibition was the first of its kind for Hong Kong, attracting plenty of interest from potential migrants plus attention from local media.

Attendees entered through a virtual exhibit hall, where they could watch a #Brisbaneby2025 video, then moved on to a virtual booth featuring a TIQ video and fact sheets with visa information.

The exhibit hall also featured live and pre-recorded webinars, and 2 chat rooms where attendees could ask questions in a group or request a personal video meeting with a representative.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Hong Kong Julia Herries said the exhibition aimed to give potential migrants a virtual experience with all the features of a face-to-face encounter while respecting COVID-19 health guidelines.

‘Congratulations to Ascent Step for creating such a great platform to communicate with potential business migrants on what Queensland can offer them in terms of lifestyle and business opportunities,’ she said.

‘I was very pleased to participate as a keynote webinar speaker along with my Brisbane-based colleagues Marney Richardson and Cynthia Chen from Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ).

‘We had more than 80 participants attend the webinar and I’m optimistic we’ll see genuine migration enquiries from good candidates as a result.’

Participants in the TIQ webinar were invited through 3 main local groups – the Federation of Australian Alumni Associations, Hong Kong Electronic Industries’ Association and manufacturing group Hong Kong Apparel Society Limited.

Attendees at the exhibition also heard from a range of organisations about what is required to move to or invest in Queensland, with tax and business information presented by firms such as Hong Kong accounting consultancy Fan, Chan & Co, Brisbane accountants Pilot Partners, and Brisbane migration agent Australia Asia Migration Consultants.

Local media also thought the exhibition was noteworthy, with Ascent Step exhibition organisers Jeff Chan and Jack So interviewed by Hong Kong finance television channel TVB.

Business visa applications from Hong Kong residents interested in moving to Queensland increased threefold in the 2019–20 financial year, a trend that is predicted to continue in the coming 12 months. The main business visa of interest is the Business Investor Stream (subclass 188) visa, which requires applicants to invest $1.5 million in Queensland Treasury Corporation bonds over 4 years.

The exhibition was held on 10 June and featured life-like theatre simulations as well as a range of other state-of-the-art virtual interfaces.

More information about business migration to Queensland is available on the BSMQ website.

Attracting investment to Queensland is one of the goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

June 2020

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HTL lends helping hand in Wide Bay Burnett

A resources company investing in Wide Bay’s burgeoning minerals sector has lent a helping hand in the fight against COVID-19 by donating more than 1,000 bottles of hand sanitiser to the local community.

A resources company investing in Wide Bay’s burgeoning minerals sector has lent a helping hand in the battle against COVID-19 by donating more than 1,000 bottles of hand sanitiser to the local community.

Australian company High Titanium Resources and Technology Limited (HTL) has been approved to develop the Wateranga deposit about 80km south-west of Bundaberg.

Already looking to its role as a local corporate citizen, HTL responded to the COVID-19 crisis by sourcing 1,080 bottles of hand sanitiser and donating them to Mundubbera-based North Burnett Community Services last month.

The agency then distributed the sanitiser to local shops and to citrus exporters and others in need across 6 towns in the North Burnett region.

HTL Chairman David Li said the company was very pleased to contribute to the local community during a challenging time.

‘HTL is committed to a long-term role in the Wide Bay region,’ he said.

‘We believe very strongly in the concept of contributing to the community, whether that’s through growing the local economy or lending a helping hand in other ways.

‘We saw a practical way we could help to fight the pandemic, and we were very pleased to work with government authorities and community organisations to get the sanitiser out to groups that could really use it.’

Principal Trade and Investment Officer Brett Tucker from TIQ Wide Bay–Burnett said the TIQ team and colleague Richard Crook from the Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation (DSDTI) had worked together to help ensure the sanitiser went where it would have most impact.

‘HTL, the community sector, TIQ and DSDTI all played their part to take a practical step for community benefit,’ he said.

‘I firmly believe this is an important part of our work as Queensland Government representatives in a regional community – helping to build bridges and develop long-term relationships.’

Mr Tucker said simple actions like these could have big benefits.

‘Much of the sanitiser has gone to small businesses and to local citrus farms that employ hundreds of pickers during the harvest,’ he said.

‘Helping them keep their workforce safe has major spinoff benefits in terms of the local community’s health.

‘Central Burnett citrus farms are large export clients and employers for Queensland, so we are pleased to see every support to those that are on the frontline managing COVID-19 risks.’

TIQ has been working with HTL to help attract international investment partners to its Wateranga project. The Wateranga deposit contains ilmenite, feldspar, apatite, muscovite, phlogopite, zircon, corundum and scandium. Potential uses for such minerals are in pigments, specialty metals and fertilisers.

HTL is also a member of the Wide Bay Burnett Resources Group – a body established to help coordinate and foster mining projects across the region.

Mineral resources are identified as one of Queensland’s major export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Construction starts on Toowoomba export hub

Earthworks are underway for the new Regional Trade Distribution Centre (RTDC) at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, destined to become an export hub for Toowoomba and the surrounding region.

Earthworks are underway for the new Regional Trade Distribution Centre (RTDC) at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, destined to become an export hub for Toowoomba and the surrounding region.

Wagner Corporation is constructing the 3,500sqm centre, with up to $10 million in funding support from the Queensland Government.

The Toowoomba RTDC is one of 2 new multimillion-dollar export hubs for Queensland announced by the state government in October 2019, with the other hub to be constructed at Cairns Airport.

The Toowoomba hub will comprise state-of-the-art cold and freezer rooms and temperature-controlled and ambient large transit areas.

The new facility will be used to export premium goods including beef, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, pork and packaged nuts.

Minister for State Development Kate Jones said the hub would generate millions of dollars worth of business for local primary producers and exporters in the region as they recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘This will give our world-leading primary producers and exporters an edge, allowing them to return to international marketplaces that are keen to get as much of Queensland’s high-quality products as they can,’ Ms Jones said.

Principal Trade and Investment Officer for TIQ Ipswich Julie Mark said the facility was a vote of confidence for regional Queensland’s export capabilities.

‘Since exports commenced in 2016, Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport has demonstrated its ability to provide efficient freight services with quick turnarounds for exporters,’ Ms Mark said.

‘Flights like the new weekly Singapore Airlines freight service mean Queensland produce can be growing in a field one day and landing into a foreign market in as little as 24 hours.

‘The RTDC will enable Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport to expand its export capacity even further and TIQ looks forward to helping South East Queensland exporters access those new export opportunities.’

The RTDC is scheduled to be built within 10 months, subject to necessary approvals.

The two locations for the new centres were selected after a competitive process that saw communities across Queensland making business cases for why their region should be chosen.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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QSAP international student panel to share COVID insights

Study Queensland (SQ) has inducted the 2020 Queensland Student Advisory Panel (QSAP) to help inform the international education industry’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study Queensland (SQ) has inducted the 2020 Queensland Student Advisory Panel (QSAP) to help inform the international education industry’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fourteen students from eleven countries will represent the almost 100,000 international students enrolled across Queensland’s education and training sector.

The panel will advise SQ on the needs of students and provide advice on policy and programs relating to international education and training.

SQ Executive Director Shannon Willoughby said seeking student feedback through representative bodies like QSAP was now more important than ever.

‘QSAP has helped us better understand why international students invest in Queensland for their futures and what sort of experience they want while they’re here,’ Ms Willoughby said.

‘As Queensland prepares for social and economic life post-COVID-19, QSAP will help the Queensland Government better cater to the needs of international students through education, employability and cultural engagement in the new era.

‘Like all of us, Queensland’s international student cohort is living in unprecedented times; their experiences have been made more difficult by being unable to return home and adjusting to online learning.’

QSAP will partner with SQ in a number of ways, including designing the Queensland International Student Leaders Forum and other SQ-led events, and helping develop SQ’s Student Support Framework.

Panel members are selected from students identified as leaders by their peers and institutions.

Domestic student representatives who are passionate about greater integration of international students within the education landscape are also involved in QSAP.

New panel member Tash Drepaul is currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts (English) at James Cook University.

The 21-year-old from Mauritius said the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the majority of international students.

‘But there have been some great stories of students coming together to help each other out – whether that’s through mental health check-ins or cooking meals for our friends,’ Ms Drepaul said.

‘Everyone has now accepted the situation and they’re trying to move on.’

QSAP is an initiative of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

QSAP 2020 representatives met virtually for the first time recently.

The Queensland Government recently boosted its international student welfare package to $15 million with the announcement of a $10 million welfare package to help students left financially vulnerable by COVID-19 to continue their studies.

International education is identified as Queensland’s second-most valuable services export in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

QSAP 2020 members

Kriti Garg India The University of Queensland
Ameya Deshmukh India The University of Queensland
Simon Wattanatum Thailand Queensland University of Technology
Rohan Gidwaney India Southern Cross University
Tash Drepaul Mauritius James Cook University
Maria Fernanda Colombia ASL
Anna Bejoy New Zealand Griffith University
Alistair Lau Hong Kong James Cook University
Irene Tomarong Philippines University of Sunshine Coast
Jeet Mukherjee India Central Queensland University
Peng Yu Australia (China) University of Southern Queensland
Crystal Paris Australia Bond University
Adriana Meneses Ecuador TAFE Queensland
Erin Ma China Queensland University of Technology

 

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Trade roundtables discuss road to COVID recovery

Queensland firms in the construction and architecture, food and beverage, and advanced manufacturing and technology sectors gathered recently to plan for post-COVID-19 recovery at a series of trade roundtables convened by TIQ.

Queensland firms in the construction and architecture, food and beverage, and advanced manufacturing and technology sectors gathered recently to plan for post-COVID-19 recovery at a series of trade roundtables convened by TIQ.

Led by TIQ Chair the Honourable Steve Bredhauer, the roundtables discussed strategies for recovery, opportunities created by the ‘new normal’, and prospects for collaboration.

Representatives from a total of 23 firms attended the 3 roundtables, joined by key stakeholders, TIQ representatives, and decision-makers from other Queensland Government agencies.

Brad Parsons, CEO and founder of machine technology company MOVUS, attended the Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Roundtable.

He said it was a welcome opportunity to collaborate to help Queensland tackle the impacts of COVID-19.

‘Covid is challenging many companies and industries,’ Mr Parsons said.

‘Queenslanders work together in times of hardship, we fight for each other.

‘That’s why we wanted to be there.’

Mr Bredhauer said it was a welcome opportunity to draw on the insights and expertise of some of the leaders in each sector.

‘The companies were very engaged and forthcoming in sharing insights, making frank observations and providing recommendations,’ he said.

‘I am also aware that, following the roundtables, companies have reached out to others to discuss collaboration and support, and it’s great to see the Aussie spirit of working together reflected at a business level.

‘The intelligence we gather from these roundtables will also be provided to the Queensland Government’s Economic Functional Recovery Group and will inform the government’s economic recovery policy and program.’

Mr Parsons said Queensland had specific technology strengths that could be promoted in global markets.

‘The best thing about the roundtable was the spirit of collaboration and open communication between business and government,’ he said.

‘This is a government that is prepared to engage and listen to industry.

‘The key for me is what is done next.

‘I’d like to see action to enable Queensland’s technology ecosystem to collaborate, and promotion of what we do well in Queensland, particularly in the area of supporting remote industry, which is one of our strengths in the global context.’

TIQ will continue to engage with all roundtable participants to respond to issues raised and to discuss and support recovery ideas and initiatives.

The Construction and Architecture Trade Roundtable was held on 22 April. A second roundtable for the technology and manufacturing sector was held on 30 April, and a third for food and beverage firms on 6 May.

You can learn more about the support available to exporters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on our TIQ industry recovery package page.

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Brisbane’s Phibion opens new office in Brazil

Mining technology services provider Phibion has opened an office in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in anticipation of further expansion in Latin America once the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

Mining technology services provider Phibion has opened an office in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in anticipation of further expansion in Latin America once the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

The office, approximately 600km north-west of Sao Paulo, is the next step in Phibion’s plans to become a major service provider in LATAM, with a long-term view to entering the North American market.

Managing Director David Smirk said Phibion had much to offer Brazil in terms of better environmental and safety management of tailings dams.

‘Brazil represents probably the largest opportunity for new tailings dam management technology like ours,’ Mr Smirk said.

‘It has a large, extensive mining industry, and tragically it has suffered some significant tailings dam failure events over the last few years that have resulted in significant loss of life.

‘Everyone in Brazil is now on the front foot looking for safer alternatives and this has provided us with the impetus to enter what had initially been looking like a longer-term market for us.’

The majority of Brazil’s more than 200 mines are located in the states of Minas Gerais and Pará. Phibion’s new office is in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais.

Phibion began exporting to Latin America in 2019 with an almost $3 million deal to sell its MudMaster machines to a client in Bolivia.

Using the MudMaster and the company’s Accelerated Mechanical Consolidation technology rapidly reduces the risk and environmental impact of tailings dams by maximising water recovery from mine tailings, the mud-like material that is left after separating out the valuable ore.

This process stabilises the ground, improving mine safety and reducing the environmental footprint of the mine’s operations by enabling land rehabilitation sooner.

Phibion’s MudMaster machines are assembled at the company’s factory in Lytton, Brisbane, and 70% of components are also manufactured in Queensland.

Expansion into LATAM and Australia has increased demand for Phibion’s products, with an increasing assembly program now extending well into 2021.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Latin America Alex Pessagno congratulated Phibion on its expansion into Brazil.

‘TIQ is proud to have supported Phibion’s entry to LATAM,’ he said.

‘Working with world-class Queensland METS companies is one of our priorities here.’

Mr Smirk said TIQ had been very helpful in the LATAM market.

‘To all aspiring METS companies looking to LATAM, we recommend you work closely with the TIQ team in Santiago,’ he said.

‘They will find and open doors you never thought possible.

‘TIQ has led us along a path where we now need to employ more staff to keep up with this demand plus increase our research funding to satisfy our client expectations.’

Mr Smirk said the impact of COVID-19 on Phibion’s operations had presented some challenges.

‘All of our operations have been affected but it’s been more a question of how could we adapt and deal with that,’ he said.

‘We’ve had machines stranded in countries and mines close operations down, but in other places we’ve maintained full operations.

‘Our focus has been keeping everyone healthy and retained on full pay during these disruptions.

‘Brazil is looking ahead past the pandemic, taking the approach that while they have short-term issues which are changing the way we work, they’re focusing on the long term and how businesses can continue to operate through the current disruption.’

Phibion employs 7 staff at its Brisbane headquarters and 18 staff across its offices in Jamaica, Chile and now Brazil.

METS (mining equipment, technology and services) is identified as an emerging export strength for Queensland in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Trisco diversifies during COVID-19

Trisco Foods – Queensland’s Exporter of the Year for 2019 – hasn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic slow it down, instead diversifying production lines to make much-needed hand sanitiser.

Trisco Foods – Queensland’s Exporter of the Year for 2019 – hasn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic slow it down, instead diversifying production lines to make much-needed hand sanitiser.

The family-owned food manufacturing business is currently producing 15,000L a week of Precise Defend hand sanitiser at its Carole Park factory in Ipswich.

The hand sanitiser is part of Trisco’s long-term expansion into products approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in clinical settings such as hospitals and aged-care facilities.

Trisco Foods Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mark Halloran said the company had harnessed its industry connections to diversify product lines and minimise the business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘As the pandemic began, we saw a decline in demand for our traditional product lines such as toppings, sundaes and bakery fillings, which we supply to the food-services sector, quick-service restaurants and bakery markets,’ Mr Halloran said.

‘We already had a strong existing brand presence through our Precise products, which we’ve been supplying to the clinical industry for 8 years.

‘We were discussing releasing some TGA-approved products before the pandemic, so the launch of our hand sanitiser has assisted us with becoming TGA-compliant.

‘These types of products are a natural fit within the health and nutrition segment of our business.’

Trisco’s Precise brand already included a range of thickeners and cups for people who have difficulty swallowing.

The new Precise Defend hand sanitiser is being supplied Australia-wide to wholesale clients including Queensland Health, aged-care facilities and hospitals.

Mr Halloran said production of the hand sanitiser commenced on 1 May and the company started selling immediately.

‘We had pre-orders from existing customers, which meant we were able to manufacture and ship immediately – certainly one of the joys of having good relationships with customers,’ he said.

Trisco Foods is owned by the Tristram family, which has been manufacturing food and beverage products in Queensland since 1875.

TIQ has worked with the company for more than 16 years, supporting Trisco’s export activities through both TIQ Ipswich and a number of TIQ overseas offices.

TIQ Acting CEO Richard Watson said Trisco Foods’ ability to continue to grow during challenging times was to be commended.

‘Queenslanders should be immensely proud to see a family-owned company that’s been operating for over 100 years remaining committed to developing new products,’ he said.

‘TIQ looks forward to continuing to work with Trisco Foods as they enter this new chapter of developing TGA-approved products.’

Mr Halloran said the company would continue to manufacture hand sanitiser and intended to export sanitiser products in the near future.

‘We’ve been working the export area for a long time, exporting to over 20 countries across Asia, the Middle East, the US and Europe,’ he said.

‘We’ve registered the Precise Hand Sanitiser brand in New Zealand and, once we have a wider range of these sanitiser products in production, we will start looking at other markets like Singapore.’

Trisco Foods currently employs more than 80 staff at its Carole Park factory and plans to hire more production staff and specialist sales staff to promote the new sanitiser.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Trade data: COVID impacts but LNG, beef grow

Queensland’s trade data for the 12 months to the end of April reflects the impacts of COVID-19 and falling resources prices but also shows increases in the value of both LNG and beef exports for the year to date.

Queensland’s trade data for the 12 months to the end of April reflects the impacts of COVID-19 and falling resources prices but also shows increases in the value of LNG and beef exports for the year to date.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released on 4 June show that the value of Queensland’s goods exports totalled $81.3 billion, a fall of 5.0% compared with the same period last year.

The decrease was driven by subdued industrial production across several of Queensland’s major trading partners, exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has lowered both demand and prices for key commodities.

Queensland Treasury estimates that the value of Queensland’s coal exports fell by 10.2% to $40.6 billion in the 12 months to April 2020, reflecting substantial decreases in export prices for all types of coal, although the state’s volume of coal exports rose marginally (up 0.1%).

Minerals exports also fell 2.7% to $10.3 billion in the 12 months to April 2020, driven by a decline in the value of aluminium exports, mainly due to lower alumina unit prices.

On the other hand, Queensland Treasury estimates that the value of LNG exports rose 2.9% to $15.8 billion in the 12 months to April 2020, due to an increase in export volumes. Growth in the volume of LNG exports has been driven by new gas developments boosting supply into the tight east coast domestic gas market, making more gas available for export. While exports to China have decreased, this has been offset by an increase in exports to Malaysia and Korea.

The value of beef exports also rose – up 17.2% to $6.7 billion in the 12 months to April 2020, driven by an increase in both export prices and volumes. While the initial COVID-19 outbreak led to a substantial fall in export volumes to China, April saw Queensland beef exports to China returning to levels seen a year ago.

China remained Queensland’s largest goods export market for the period, although it did record a decline compared to the same period last year, as did other key markets such as Japan, India and Korea.

In contrast, the 12 months to April 2020 saw increases in the value of exports to markets such as Vietnam (up 33.4%), Malaysia (up 26.0%) and the USA (up 9.7%) compared to the same period last year.

Queensland is consistently among Australia’s strongest export performers, with the annual total of merchandise exports exceeding that of New South Wales and Victoria combined since July 2018.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Information for exporters affected by COVID-19 is available on the TIQ industry recovery package webpage.

Image credit: Santos

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Queensland’s Travello promotes iso-exploration

A travellers’ social networking app developed in Queensland has seen a huge uptake globally as people confined by COVID-19 lockdowns explore the world virtually from home.

A travellers’ social networking app developed in Queensland has seen a huge uptake globally as people confined by COVID-19 lockdowns explore the world virtually from home.

Developed in Brisbane in 2016, the Travello app now has users in 180 countries and could also help to support tourism recovery.

Travello Head of Sales and Partnerships Josh Wicks said he believed the app’s huge jump in usage and engagement in recent months was a good omen for tourism going forward.

‘Travello is a free app that allows travellers to share content, connect with other travellers and locals to discover the best-kept travel secrets, and find friends in real time all around the world,’ Mr Wicks said.

‘Travello also suggests new experiences based on users’ profiles and lets people explore their dream destinations, which has proved incredibly popular during the COVID-19 confinements.

‘We’ve seen Travello usage increase significantly from February to May and engagement rise by 36% since lockdowns began, as people look to satisfy their wanderlust from the couch.

‘Based on what we’ve seen, I think there will be plenty of demand and people ready to go once travel and tourism operators are able to start trading again.’

Mr Wicks said Travello normally established licensing agreements with travel and tourism businesses keen to engage with the app’s users, but had shifted its focus during the pandemic.

‘Our B2B partners can normally log in to our back-end and engage with Travello users in destination to offer them tailored goods and services,’ he said.

‘Obviously that’s not possible right now and it’s more a time to build our Travello community and try to get creative to support the tourism industry.’

Mr Wicks said the Fortitude Valley-based start-up was excited to recently be named a semi-finalist in the Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge run by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

‘The challenge aimed to find the most disruptive start-ups and drive solutions to mitigate COVID-19’s impacts on tourism,’ he said.

‘Out of 1,000 applications from more than 100 countries, we made it into the top 10 in the Healing for Destinations category.

‘Our proposal was to work with global destination-marketing agencies to promote various destinations to our users and then use our travel technology to incentivise travellers to stay longer, disperse to lesser known regions, and spend more while they are there.

‘We didn’t quite make the winning 3 but, given that some of our competition had raised more than AU$150 million, we’re still honoured we were identified as a semi-finalist.’

Mr Wicks said the company was now in the process of taking its proposal to market, and welcomed approaches from interested destination-marketing organisations.

Travello employs 15 staff in its offices at The Precinct innovation hub.

TIQ Europe has worked with the Travello team to help the company expand its business into the European market.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Frosty Boy: from ice cream to health food

Yatala food manufacturer Frosty Boy, best known for its dessert, beverage and savoury powder bases, has released two nutrition-enhancing supplements with health-boosting benefits.

Yatala food manufacturer Frosty Boy, best known for its dessert, beverage and savoury powder bases, has released two nutritional supplements aimed at both domestic and overseas markets.

The company’s new Wellboost™ Care Plus and Wellboost™ Immuno Plus powders can be mixed with low-fat milk or water to create a nutrition-enhancing drink or added to a wide range of foods to give meals a nutritional boost.

The powders are currently being promoted to the healthcare industry and retail markets in Australia with plans to export in the near future.

Frosty Boy Managing Director Dirk Pretorius said the new products had been under development for some time.

‘We’ve been working for about a year on developing nutritional supplements that support health and can boost the immune system,’ Mr Pretorius said.

‘It’s been a great opportunity for Frosty Boy because we’re experts in blending powders and there’s been interest in us developing a health product from our existing customers around the world.

‘We produced 10,000 units in our first run in early April and there’s another big production run coming, numbering in the tens of thousands, so we’re very committed to this.’

Mr Pretorius said Wellboost™ Care Plus contains 25 vitamins and minerals plus a probiotic, while Wellboost™ Immuno Plus also contains dietary fibre (Inulin) and Lactoferrin which supports immune health.

The tins of beverage powders are being sold to wholesale and retail buyers through pharmacies, supermarkets and online shops.

Mr Pretorius said the Australian market for highly nutritious meal replacements is currently dominated by imported brands.

‘The two major brands – Sustagen and Ensure – are both made in Europe, so we feel there’s an opportunity for our Australian-made product,’ he said.

‘All the recent campaigns like #MakingItforQueensland will be very helpful for us to boost the Australian manufacturing industry and make sure we look after our own companies here and support them.’

Mr Pretorius said the company was keen to pursue export opportunities for the new products once the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic begins to ease.

‘Before COVID-19, 70% of our business was in 65 countries and there are opportunities there to promote these new products as nutritional alternatives to boost people’s immune system during these times,’ he said.

‘Everywhere we have someone to talk to – places like India, Brazil, the Middle East – we’re promoting these products and seeing what we can do.’

Mr Pretorius said the 2 new products were just the beginning of Frosty Boy’s move into health foods.

‘Long term, we’ve got lots of different variations roadmapped to start working on, potentially including vegan, kids and sports blends of these products,’ he said.

‘We’re also agile enough to produce products specifically for different parts of the world depending on what they require – things such as clean labels, no added sugar – which is why we’ve had such strong interest internationally.’

Frosty Boy is a previous finalist at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards, and has had recent success establishing its Indian operations.

TIQ has worked with Frosty Boy on its expansion into various overseas markets.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.